Contracts and bonuses have been used to create positive change over 200,000 times
Taken from the program Evaluation by the Pacific Rim Research June 17, 1991.
The following words are found in the book The Back Door, an experiment or an alternative in the section of “what others have said”:
The Back Door system of goals (“STEPS”) and incentives (“BONUSES”) makes frequent use of written CONTRACTS with individual participants. The CONTRACTS spell out the mutual commitments and bonuses, are kept in open files, and are modified as progress is made. The result of the CONTRACT system is twofold: as each external “STEP” is achieved and bonused, the participant not only achieves a measurable result, but experiences a sense of increasing integrity and self-worth as they learn to make and keep agreements with themselves and others. While warm human relations are clearly part of the formula, the incentives for progress are not tied to politics, favoritism, or a staff need to feel parental. The written straightforward CONTRACT keeps the expectations on the table for both the staff and the participants. From the perspective of the interview team the contracts, are in fact, “a clean deal.” The unique adaptation of the CONTRACT method to help solve the social and economic problems associated with street life seems very effective, and worth replicating. Rather than creating yet another institutional half-way house or a separate world with different symbols and priorities from the mainstream of society, The Back Door program is blunt about recognizing “success” in the same way that employed people receive recognition: BONUSES are for money, not gold stars.
In the last 20 years over 200,000 contracts and bonuses have been used to make a difference in the lives of many. You are invited to learn about and use these concepts for yourself or with others in the work you do.